Synopsis of 2×09: When Iris activates her blood oath, Clary has more to worry about than hiding from Valentine and the Downworlders; Isabelle and Raphael get closer; Alec tries to figure out what’s happening with his sister.


After a couple great episodes of character development, we’ve got to eventually get back to the main plot. With the finale coming around next week, “Bound by Blood” sets up a great intro into the conclusion of the Soul Sword plot. 

This episode sees the culmination of Izzy’s plotline and also the blood oath that Clary was bound to. 

After promising to protect Clary, Jace walks in on her and Simon fooling around in a canoe at the Jade Wolf. It’s definitely a little awkward, but I think we all knew it was going to be. Upset that she’s anywhere but the Institute, Jace is ready to drag her back when suddenly Clary’s hand starts burning and turning black. Yup, you forgot about that pesky blood oath, Clary.

They come to Magnus’ as he and Alec are discussing the fate of the downworlders and Magnus quickly deduces that the burning skin is a side effect of the blood oath and that if they don’t get Madzie the burning will continue and when it reaches her heart she will die. Magnus stops the pain, but he can’t counter the damage, the oath has to be fulfilled. 

They go back to the Jade Wolf and try and figure out a plan with Luke. They decide to go out and seek out Madzie. As Clary goes to get Simon to come along, Jace seems unwilling. Throughout the episode, he seems unsure about Simon’s ability to protect Clary and it definitely fuels a bit of Simon’s insecurities, but it doesn’t ever seem to be malicious. I really like the place that Simon and Jace have ended up in with their relationship. They both really care for Clary, but they’re not fighting like hormonal teenagers over her.

Although Jace doesn’t want Simon to come along, Clary goes to get him anyways, saying that she needs him. On the way, a werewolf attacks Clary. She manages to fight it off only for the wolf to shift into Maia. She tells them that she overheard them at the party and she knows that Clary could end up killing all the downworlders so she’s there to kill Clary. Okay. 

From an outsiders’ perspective, I get it. You want to save yourself and everyone else, sacrifice one for the many, but Maia, you had to know this wasn’t going to end well. What friendships she made with the gang seem to all be severed, notably her relationship with Luke, who locks her in a storage room, despite knowing her claustrophobia, in order to protect Clary. Honestly, this was kind of a questionable move on Luke’s part. I get being worried about Clary and protecting your adoptive daughter, but locking Maia away in a place with her biggest fear is the stupidest decision he could ever make.

You know nothing good is going to come of it. Especially when she finally shifts and breaks out of the room.

But you know, we’ll probably see the bitter end of that plot arc in the finale. For now, Luke decides to stay behind and deal with the downworlders, since Maia spread the news out about Clary, while Jace, Simon, and Clary go to seek out Madzie.

They manage to go to the park where Madzie last was and get a scarf from a homeless man there that once belonged to Madzie. Jace uses it to track Madzie while Clary wants to make Simon promise to kill her if she ever gets taken by Valentine in order to keep her from touching the sword. He can’t make the promise to her, but Jace can and he does. Realizing that Clary is growing weaker and weaker, Jace heads off on his own to hunt down Madzie, leaving Simon and Clary to stay at the van. 

Meanwhile, the downworld is going crazy with the news about Clary. Luke calls a meeting of the leaders of the downworld and we get to see Meliorn again! Remember, Izzy’s side piece from season one? He’s wearing armor, which means he’s ready for war, and accuses Luke, Magnus, and Raphael of being biased for their feelings for shadowhunters. He also reveals that he knows that Raphael has been involved with Izzy, which tips Magnus off about what has actually been happening with Izzy.

Backed into a corner, Raphael agrees with Meliorn that if Clary has to die to save the downworld then he’s ready to do what needs to be done. 

And although it looks like Izzy has been weaned off of yin fen, we find out pretty quickly that she hasn’t severed her relationship with Raphael and they have been seeing each other more often. There’s a weird scene of Aldertree asking Izzy out to dinner, but she rejects him and instead spends the night making sexy tamales with Raphael instead. Seriously, not since True Blood has vampirism been so erotic.

Alec spends the episode trying to find Izzy, including confronting Aldertree, who pulls rank on him and puts him in his place. Which just makes the ending of the episode, where Alec takes back control of the Institute, that much more satisfying. 

Anyways, with the meeting of the downworlders, Magnus tells Alec that he knows where Izzy is. They come into Raphael’s apartment to see him drinking Izzy’s blood. They’re both pretty high and Alec gets the upper hand and starts beating Raphael up. Thankfully, Magnus stops him before he can do any real damage, but Alec is pissed. He’s angry that Magnus knew about the yin fen and didn’t tell him — to be fair he had just put the pieces together — and he’s even more angry at Izzy for the situation. 

But, you can’t really blame her, Alec. She makes a good point, Raphael was there for her when no one else was. He’s been the one helping her and Alec only just now has noticed. She didn’t start using yin fen on her own, she was tricked into it by Aldertree, and now we’re in this shitty situation. Magnus also seems disappointed in Raphael. We know from the last episode that Raphael has been off of human blood for a while after Magnus saved him, but now Magnus assumes he’s getting high off of Izzy’s blood. Despite Raphael confessing that he has feelings for Izzy and that it’s different this time, Magnus doesn’t believe him. But, to his credit, Raphael seems to be telling the truth. He is getting high, but he’s also opening up to Izzy, telling her stories about himself that no one else knows, like about his 78-year-old little sister who doesn’t remember him anymore.

While this is happening, we see that Valentine’s found a new home inside the world’s most terrifying abandoned carnival, where he’s won over Madzie to his side. Dot is trying to figure out Magnus’ spellbook, but she’s weak and barely capable at this point. Good thing Valentine’s got himself a fresh baby warlock that he can emotionally manipulate!

Jace tracks Madzie down to a little cafe where he sees Valentine sitting with her drinking hot chocolate. He tells Valentine about the blood oath and how he’s got to bring Madzie back to Clary or else she’ll die. He also attempts to convince Valentine that he’s willing to let Clary die because he’s got demon blood in him and he’d rather see her die and protect himself in case she touches the Soul Sword.

He’s able to bring Madzie back, but right after the blood oath is fulfilled, plot twist: Madzie portals herself and Clary through to Valentine. Well, that happy moment didn’t last long.

Struggling for a way to track down Clary, Simon and Jace have to got to work together. They come across some of Valentine’s downworlders attacking mundanes and find out from Alec that it’s happening all throughout the city. Simon figures out a way to track them and interrogates the downworlder into figuring out where Clary is. 

At the same time, at the Institute, Alec mobilizes the shadowhunters into tracking down Clary. When Aldertree tries to undo the commands, Alec threatens him with the knowledge that Aldertree gave drugs to Izzy. Ah, sweet momentary victory.

Simon, Jace, and Luke find their way to the creepy abandoned carnival and find Clary. It’s then that Valentine appears and starts monologuing. Simon tries to attack him but Valentine fights him off with ease and with Madzie creating a portal for him, he escapes again, but this time he’s got Simon as a hostage.

All in all, a good episode. The dramatic blood oath storyline felt a little too heavy-handed, especially with the knowledge, as the viewer, that Clary will be okay. It’s interesting what they’re doing with Madzie, who seems to be obedient to Valentine for the sake of her nana, but also it seems like Valentine has just won the kid over. She’s an enigmatic kid, so it’s hard to read where her mind is. I’m glad that Alec finally found out about Izzy, and even more glad that he’s got control of the Institute again. 

Also, I’m not going to lie, I don’t mind Raphael and Izzy at all. Sure, their scenes can sometimes be a little too erotically charged for me, but they actually seem okay together. Meliorn was a few levels of skeezy that I just didn’t enjoy, but I could get behind Raphael actually having feelings for her. Same with Simon and Clary. Ultimately, I hope for Clary and Jace, but their scenes were genuinely touching. Simon holding Clary in his arms as she’s basically on death’s door was an emotional scene, and even though we knew she was going to be safe, it was still well played out between the two of them.

And it makes it that more convincing of how hard Clary is probably going to be pushing for them to rescue Simon in the finale next week!

Memorable Moments:

Simon: “I’m not worried, I’ve been working on my fighting skills.” Jace: “Oh, really? You wanna take this outside and give these fight skills a test run?” Simon: “Anytime. As soon as the sun goes down.”

Jace: “There’s a rune for that.” No, Jace. Don’t you dare drop “there’s a rune for that” on me.

Simon: “A dashing, handsome Jewish boy finally admits to his best friend how he feels after a lifetime and she dies a week later? That’s too sappy. Like a real life Fault in Our Stars.” Clary: “That’s not the plot of that book at all.”

Jace: “Valentine still needs a bolt of lightning.” Simon: “Great. So what’s the plan? You want me to check the five-day forecast for every city in the entire world?”

Simon: “You were right. Finding Madzie was way too easy.” Jace: “As much as I love to hear you say that, now is really not the time.”



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